I am not what you would call “vulnerable.” I often struggle to share my true feelings, even to my close friends. I much prefer to listen to someone else share their hurts and pain, rather than admit my issues to others. This is something I’ve had to work through and I am continuing to learn to overcome each day. God’s spirit can help us through our suffering, but the older I get, the more I understand that God did not mean for us to handle life on our own. He intends for us to share our burdens with others.

I had a friend experience a devastating loss recently, and her sharing this with me allowed God to once again remind me that pain doesn’t have to be bottled up and it doesn’t have to be immediately fixed. God wants us to sit with others in their pain! Sometimes, he wants us to sit in our own pain.

“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

Paul gives clear instructions to the new believers in this verse, explaining that God gave us community because we would not be able to carry things in this life on our own. We need each other. He says that in sharing our burdens we obey the law of Christ. The law of Christ is to love.

My friend showed love to me by choosing to share her burdens with me, and I showed love to her by sitting and listening. We can mistakenly think that being a Christ-follower means we should be self-reliant in every way, all the time. Sometimes though, we have to sit with pain without a plan. My friend almost said these exact words to me as she described how this experience allowed her to learn that she has no control over life. All she can do is trust God each day.

If you are experiencing hurt or pain today, know this, you aren’t meant to handle it alone. None of us are. Reach out to a family member or trusted friend and share your burdens with others. You have no idea how sharing your pain may help others work through their own struggles. 

And if someone reaches out to you, remember that sometimes people don’t want answers. They just want someone to sit with them in their pain.